Putin says not surprised over US Senate’s attempts to tighten anti-Russian sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he is not surprised over the attempts in the US Senate to tighten sanctions against Russia for no apparent reason.
The country’s entire history is evidence it has had to live under sanctions starting from the moment it began to find its feet and when its partners began to regard it as a major competitor, Putin said during his annual question-and-answer call-in on Thursday, TASS reported.
"We do know that a bill on tightening sanctions has emerged in the US Senate again," Putin said. "Incidentally, why? Nothing extraordinary is happening. Why has the theme of sanctions been brought up again for no reason?"
"This is evidence of the ongoing internal political struggle in the United States," Putin said. "Nevertheless this is happening for no reason at all, I believe. Had there been no Crimean issue or other problems, they would’ve thought up something else for containing Russia."
Vladimir Putin pointed to benefits of anti-Russian sanctions, nation must use intellect, resources, talents. He noted that sanctions are a double-edged weapon, which harms everyone. "However, there are advantages as well, strange as it may seem," the president noted. "The advantages are that we had to use intellect, talents, concentrate resources in the key areas instead of just using petro-and-gas dollars."
Global environment and lower oil and gas prices have affected Russia’s economy more than sanctions, the president said.
"Have the sanctions affected us? Yes," the president said. "Drastically or not? I don’t think so."
"We were more affected by the global environment and slumping prices on our traditional products - oil and gas, metals industry and chemistry," Putin said. "What do our partners think? The US State Department estimates that these sanctions have sparked a 1% drop in GDP for our economy and the Europeans say this is slightly more," Putin said. "The United Nations says we lost some $50 billion or $52 billion and those countries that introduced sanctions lost $100 billion. So, this was a double-edged sword, it harms everyone."
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